Recently I came across (at a Communist Party book sale) a book that had been published in the Soviet Union in 1976 that sought to present Russian and subsequent Soviet history to young adults from a Soviet perspective. Aimed at kids between 12-14, the copy I found was an English language translation meant for export.
Called Early Russia - the USSR: Historical Sketches, it is attributed to T. Golubeva and L. Gellerstein, though with no bios of either and without making clear who the illustrator is.
While the text and summary of history is interesting in its own ways, what is truly notable about the volume is its amazing artwork and sketches recreating historic events.
They are atmospheric and very vivid, despite being almost all only two-colour, and their seeming simplicity allows for a surprisingly spare and powerful impact.
The sketches span the totality of the history covered and there are a fair number of them. In this post we will look at some of the illustrations from the revolutionary and Soviet era. In a later post we will look at the earlier ones.
From the Revolution, to Stalingrad, to space walks, they touch on it all and deserve an audience again.
(Click on images to enlarge)
The Siege of Leningrad
Victory! Throwing Down Nazi Banners at the Kremlin.